You know those people who create fake email accounts in order to avoid being inundated with messages from companies on a daily basis? Well, I’m not one of those people.

There’s nothing wrong with being this kind of person, but I’m glad I’m not one of them. Sure, I get slammed with emails everyday from all sorts of companies—many that I admittedly am no longer interested in—but some of these messages really grab my attention. These digital diamonds in the inbox rough, if you will, are intermittent reminders of why I opt to add my name to email subscription lists. I received one such email last week from clothing retailer GAP.


Perhaps the most attention-grabbing aspect of this email was the fact that it was a personal message from GAP’s CEO Art Peck about a unique company-driven initiative. In fact, the email subject line was titled simply, “A Letter from our CEO.” Specifically, Peck’s message surrounded the group of women who work behind the scenes to produce GAP’s clothing. He told the interesting back story of these women who live in countries across the world from China to Cambodia to India to Sri Lanka, and explained how these women are so full of ambition “to advance their families, their communities, and themselves,” yet lack access to a robust education.

Peck explained in his email message that, in response to the lack of educational opportunities among these ambitious, talented and capable women, GAP has committed to educating one million women through its P.A.C.E program. The program, spearheaded by GAP for the last eight years, offers the education and the skills these women need in order to advance themselves in both their home and work lives.

This email stood out to me for a few reasons, all which got my wheels turning when it comes to creating a captivating content marketing strategy. Perhaps what primarily drove me to engage with the message, however, was the fact that it wasn’t another email promoting a sale or new clothing item. Rather, the email contained an authentic message from the company’s CEO about something that is near and dear to his heart. The organization cast its CEO’s voice, and by having him tell this personal brand story, it resonated that much more with me as a consumer (and I’m sure many consumers in addition to myself).

This message truly reminded me that we as consumers are hungry to hear from the thought leaders at companies. So, I urge you to take this time as we near the end of 2015 to consider what stories are waiting to be told through the unique voice of your CEO in order to engage and connect with consumers on a new level. For example, what’s on the horizon for your company in 2016? What milestones, initiatives or objectives should be told through the unique perspective of your CEO or similarly positioned brand leader?

According to a recent survey from FORTUNE Knowledge Group and Gyro, 81 percent of executives believe that companies that are successful at building long-term customer relationships connect what they believe in to how they conduct business. I know for me, GAP made a stellar impression with this personally crafted message from Peck about what the brand believes in.

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